appledroidCan a company give Amazon a run in 2015 when it comes to ebooks?

Maybe, but the company with the best footing is Apple. Anecdotally, several authors have mentioned the successes they have had through Apple’s iBooks. This is a good new for authors who are looking for other avenues to sell their books. But keeping iBooks strictly for Apple products may not do it.

iBooks has been around since 2010 when it was launched with the iPad. In 2013, iBooks became an integrated app on iOS 8. Since that time, iBooks seems to be taking more of the market share.

In October, Publishing Technology, a company that covers the publishing business end-to-end (in the company’s own words), conducted research into mobile reading. It asked 2,000 people in the UK which e-reading platform they use with 50 percent using Kindle and 31 percent using Apple’s iBooks. Kobo doesn’t get much attention outside of Canada and Nook continues to slide.

It’s conceivable that Apple could put out an iBooks for Android app, but the company may not want to do that. By offering iBooks only for its products, it gives its hardware a boost. But maybe it’s time to change that.

I don’t think iBooks should be an exclusive to just Apple products. With the accessibility of ebooks, consumers can essentially get their ebooks on any platform. On my Android tablet, I have the option of buying a book from Amazon, Kobo, Nook, and Google Play – but not from Apple’s iBooks (without a workaround).

I understand that Apple works in a way that keeps its apps, hardware, and software all within the same place. Exclusivity allows people to feel … special. In this case, I think Apple would be well-served in making its app available for Android, which could bring stiffer competition to the marketplace.

This is a question that has been asked of Apple for years, so it’s likely it won’t be coming, but maybe it’s time for a change.


  1. I’d love to see this happen and, given that Apple did bring iTunes to Windows, it’s not impossible.

    The iBookstore would certainly benefit from more sales. But my hunch is that so would the sales of iPads and iPhones. Quite a few serious readers (actually, I suspect most) go the Amazon Kindle device and Kindle store route because is seems to give them the most options and the greatest safety. They’re comparing two scenarios.

    1. For now: Buy Kindles from Amazon and ebooks from the Kindle bookstore. Perhaps later: Buy an iPad/iPhone: They are safe. They can still read those Kindle books with the Kindle app on an iPad.

    2. For now: Buy an iPad from Apple and ebooks from the iBookstore. Perhaps later: Big Trouble. If they no longer have an iPad/iPhone, those ebooks from the iBookstore or worthless. For serious readers, that is scary.

    And yes, there is the cross–platform option of having an iPad but buying ebooks from Amazon. But those who not technical are leery about that, particularly since they can’t buy ebooks from Amazon on their iPad.

    Most non-technical, serious readers I know, choose the #1 as the safest. That’s particularly true give than Amazon has more of the ebooks they want to read than Apple. The result it that Apple sells fewer ebook AND few iPads. Committed to buying from the Kindle store, they also buy a Kindle.

    But if Apple ported iBooks to Android (and Kindles), it’d flip that around. Now buying an iPad would be safer than buying a Kindle. These people would know that they could read all Amazon’s ebooks and all Apple’s ebooks on that iPad. And, equally important in the minds of the cautious, if they later shifted to a Kindle, they would lose neither collection.

    It’s certainly something to think about. Apple should also keep in mind that, while quite a few heavy readers tilt toward getting an iPad, they’re nervous about losing what may be hundreds of ebooks they bought from the iBookstore. They may never buy an Android or Kindle reader, but they would be more comfortable knowing they have that option… meaning knowing that they can read their iBookstore ebooks on Android devices.

  2. “”I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

    So sayeth Steve.

    I don’t see Apple and Android playing nice anytime soon.

  3. “What’s more, Apple isn’t in ebooks to sell ebooks. They’re in ebooks to support their hardware sales. So there’s no reason for them to want to build up their marketshare.”

    More importantly, Apple is in the ebook business for itself, not to aid ebooks as a general concept.

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